April 22, 2004 - 4:02 pm

so my students were on their spring break last week and i'm sure all of them were off dismembering small animals or corrupting toddlers or whatever it is that my little hoodlums like to do in their spare time.

all except one, that is.

one little boy who felt the need to call me almost every day of his spring break (twice on Friday).

we'll call him roberto.

now, having a student with a slight crush on me is not new to me at all. i had one kid that had to go to the hospital earlier this semester because he fell out of his chair while rubbernecking as i was walking past.

i'm telling you, these 9th grade boys, they love me.

but this kid, roberto, loves me in a different way.

he doesn't have a crush on me.

no, he's just gay.

roberto knows about my best friend, roger because i talk about him a lot and i'm sure i've even mentioned that roger is gay.

i think roberto needs an ally and he's latched onto me.

part of me feels like being his best friend and holding him and telling him that everything will be okay no matter how confusing things may seem to him now.

but i'm worried. i'm worried about this kid and i'm worried about being his "sponsor" so to speak. i know what i'm about to say is going to sound incredibly selfish but i can't help thinking it so bear with me.

i'm sure his parents would disapprove of this if they knew, and i've been asking myself if i'm brave enough to the person who (in their eyes, at least) 'encourages' this lifestyle.

he hasn't come out to me, but it's pretty fucking obvious. i'm sure the whole staff at the school knows as well. we have a few gay students in our population.

but among our kids, it's still taboo to come out. not just because of religious conflicts but also in terms of culture.

a lot of these kids have had shitty lives speckled with hurt and betrayal and distrust and racism. so anyone homosexual growing up here wouldn't want to add homophobia to all that.

so even though i'm in the bay area or the "gay bay" as many like to call it, our ghettos aren't exactly filled with queens running around acting gayer than a french school girl on christmas morn.

the queens leave, they get out, fast and rightfully so, if their lives might be in danger.

i just really don't understand this whole homophobia thing. i mean, even that word, "homo-phobia" fear of homosexuals. fear? come on now! they're the last people we want to fear. (unless you're stuck in traffic on the bay bridge with roger and you're running late to see a musical, then you should be very homophobic and really "fear homosexuals" because it is nooooo picnic, trust me).

in the meantime, i think i just need to find a balance with roberto. i need to let him know that i'm here for him but maintain him at a little bit of a distance too. and i wouldn't just be doing that because he's gay. truthfully, any kid who called me everyday of their spring break for whatever reason would freak me out a bit.

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